View Full Version : How do you know when they're ready?

11-12-2003, 02:42 PM
My MIL was making pretty strong hints to me last week that we ought to think about potty training Sarah. But I just don't know if she's ready. Since her language skills are still very behind, I have been waiting for her to catch up verbally so that it would be easier for her to tell me.

But how do you know?

11-12-2003, 03:14 PM
I feel a bit foolish replying here, because I haven't trod that road yet either, but in our case, I'm waiting for the following:

Demonstrated awareness that she is going/has gone poop or pee (like looking down when it happens, or asking for a diaper change, or using the words during or after - I am trying to encourage this by asking her "Are you going poo now?" or "You went pee in the bathtub!" "Look, you have a poopy diaper!")

Language skills to communicate that she is about to go/has just gone

More cause-and-effect awareness, so that whatever rewards I offer (hugs, attention, stickers, whatever) can be linked to the act we're trying to evoke

Hope that helps! From what I gather, the later you start, the less time it takes! I'm fervently hoping that this is true!


11-12-2003, 06:16 PM
Believe me, if she's ready, you'll know. She needs to know when she's going. And she needs to WANT to do it on the potty. Until she wants to, it's not going to happen. You can teach her how before she wants to, but she won't be in panties all the time until she's decided that's best. DS trained AFTER he turned 3, so don't worry about getting her trained at a certain age. Is she interested at all?

11-12-2003, 08:41 PM
OK, sorry if this is TMI.

Well, what prompted the whole discussion, was Sarah announcing at the top of her lungs at the Magic Kingdom "I poo! I poo!" And she's been doing this with poop diapers for awhile now. When I can tell she's pooping, I ask "Are you pooping?" and she says "Yeah!" She runs to me after she poops and wants to be changed immediately. Pee diapers she still isn't concerned about.

She watches me use the bathroom and is very interested in the process. She looks in the toilet and says poo or pee. And she likes to flush. Since we use cloth diapers, I flush her poo down the toilet too, and she "helps" me do that after a diaper change.

The one time I actually sat her on the toilet (admittedly that was months ago now) she didn't "do" anything, but wasn't afraid of it or anything.


11-12-2003, 11:45 PM
Nicholas has been doing the same thing for a few months. He has a potty chair he likes to sit on, but only fully dressed, otherwise he wants off immediately. He occassionally tells right before he goes, but he is still behind verbally, so we have been talking about it alot which has been helping. He also can't pull down his pants yet by himself, and I would think that would be important?

I don't want to push it too much, as I hear that causes more aggreviation in the end. I almost want to wait until summer when I can just let him run around naked, but I hate to miss any opportunities to train early!

WAHM to Nicholas 10/01/01
& Baby #2 due 4/23/04!!!!

11-13-2003, 01:36 AM
Well, I guess if you could start asking her if she would like to pee or poo on the potty at regular times... like if you notice she usually poops right after breakfast, you could suggest it then, or right before bed or something like that. At this point, just helping her to transfer her interest in what YOU are doing to what SHE is doing would be a good start. Don't expect anything, but just give her the opportunity to start learning if she wants to. I know I would go in spurts when DS was learning the mechanics of it. And he actually learned the how-to long before we trained him to do it all the time. Good luck! HTH! :)

11-13-2003, 09:41 AM
My mother was very pushy on the potty training as well. I think everyone has given great advice - I actually followed KathyO's guidelines myself. I believe they say most girls are trained around 34mo and most boys around 39mo - even though it seems like everyone pushes you to train your kids as soon as they are 24mo. DD was trained at 35-36mo - just in time for preschool. We had purchased the potties a while back and she was interested in them a bit, but then after a week or so was totally put off so we held off (of course this is around when DS was brought home). We did tell her that she couldn't go to school until she was trained and that may have given her a bit of a push, but I would have felt really bad if she missed out on preschool because of toilet training (none of the schools near me allow diapers since they aren't licensed as daycares, only as schools). One day about 40 days before school started she came up to me and said she had to pee - we took her to the toilet and she went!! It was amazing!! And she was fully trained by the time school started. So, I think you can push your kids to train earlier, but I don't think it will 'take' - I think it is much easier on the parents and the child if you just wait until they are ready and fend off all those 'helpful' relatives/friends who want you to do it before your child is ready. By the way, stickers and a couple of mini marshmallows or Jelly Belly's were the reward in this house. We let her put the stickers on the potty/toilets when she went (I figure buying a new toilet seat is a small price to pay for potty training) - and we also used the Graco Soft Seat potties (DD tried all the others and they were all either too small or too 'hard' she said). Sorry for the novel and HTH some! Best of luck to you. It was a very nerve racking time for me since I so wanted her to be ready for school - hopefully you won't have to deal with that!!

SAHM to Lilli 9/20/00 & Alec 10/21/02

11-13-2003, 04:51 PM
I would get her a potty chair, then. Just because you have it doesn't mean training has to start, but I know that Ainsleigh LOVES sitting on hers, whereas she looks like she's about to fall in if I sit her on the big toilet.

If she's signaling and responding, that's a good start. And that's hilarious about her announcing at Disney. Ainsleigh has begun announcing it in stores and I try to sidestep it by saying, "Food?" maybe people will think that's what she's saying... Of course, if it's accompanied by her wrinkling her nose nose and saying, "Phew-eee!" then it's not as easily ignored...

11-13-2003, 06:33 PM
Okay you guys are going to think this is terrible but I have a store story...

A few weeks ago I was in Target looking at shoes for Amy. She decided she liked a pair of boots and put them on. I didn't mind because it kept her busy while I was looking for shoes.

Well I finally found what I wanted and told her that she had to take the boots off because we weren't buying them. I pulled them off her feet and she went into a HUGE tantrum. The whole rolling, kicking, screaming on the ground thing. Suddenly she says, "I have to use the potty!". I am frantic! I don't know where the potty is in this Target and Andrew is in the shopping cart. I'm not even sure they allow shopping carts in the washroom.

Well she gets up and I see a small wet spot on the carpet. And yes, her leggings are wet. This occasionally happens when she is tantruming because I guess she's so mad she loses bladder control. Well being the honest Mom I am I quickly got her up, pulled her dress down to cover her wet spot and started walking away. I know, I hang my head in shame. :(

Well I thought I had gotten away with it, but Amy, all upset by this (she hates accidents) started crying, "I FORGOT to use the POTTY! I FORGOT to use the POTTY!". I was so embarrassed, I was sure that everyone knew what she meant. She even said it the entire time we were in the checkout line.

Now I know Mamahill shops at that Target (on Whipple) so I am sure you will be checking the floor carefully next time you are in the girls' shoes Sarah! :)

11-14-2003, 11:46 AM
LOL Helen! FYI, the restroom is to your right, next to the info desk, when you enter. I'll steer clear for the girls' shoes for a while;). I can only imagine your humiliation. I dread the day Ainsleigh is articulate enough for anyone else to understand her!!

11-14-2003, 03:58 PM
We are also in the throes of potty "training" of late. The technique we use is to put Adeev on the potty every morning when he wakes up and every night before bed. This has become part of our bed routine. Potty, brush teeth, PJs, story, bedtime. We also ask Adeev once in a while if he has to go, so that he knows that you use the potty at different times of the day, not just at night/morning. We don't have rewards per se, we just give him our undivided attention when he is doing his business - we sit in the bathroom and read or talk with him. Otherwise, we have been doing the poop flush for a while now. Whenever we can flush the poop, we do and we all say, "Bye-bye poopy" ceremoniously, LOL! I am not forcing the issue and if we continue on like this for another year, I will be fine with it. He doesn't feel pressured to use the potty, but he knows that he is a big boy when he does.

It sounds like you could incorporate the potty into Sarah's routine without much fuss - she likes the flushing and seems to get the idea. You might be surprised at how interested she is, if she is already making comments that she pooped. If it doesn't work right now, don't be discouraged - we are all potty trained eventually!